Sunday, Feb 10 – Arab Lab 08
I awake. Jatin has been up for a while. This is it - this is what we
came here for (apart from the shopping and the nightlife). A quick
breakfast later, we're waiting for a TAXI.
Taxis are scarce. The wait has extended to over 30 mins and no sign of
relief. Suddenly the car comes up and voila - we're en-route.
Interstingly - for all the glam about the city - it suffers from crazy
traffc jams. The route which is essentially 15 minutes - drags on for a
good 30 minutes before we are dropped at our destination - 15 dirhams
The exhibition starts. No visitors. Well actually - Diagnostics is in
short attendance. The main participants are from the Lab Analytics
segment and Instrumentation. Many countries have their own pavilions.
the Koreans are touting " PREMIUM KOREA" , while the Germans simply say
"MADE IN GERMANY". The Brits, Spaniards and Chinese have their separate
sections too. It's the Indians who are scattered far and wide - most not
wanting to show any link with each other or the country. We've got a a
Punjabi manufacturer from Ambala on the left and a Forensics company on
the right. The koreans stare us in the face. AT least they have a few
pretty faces to keep motivation levels up.
We go thru the entire cycle of meeting customers, distributors ,
competitors till the end of day. its quite an eye opener for me - since
this is my first!!
Time to disco & khisko from the stall. Well they have an exhibitors
party planned and off we go - standing in this big queue to board the
shuttle to the Grand Hyatt for the party. Standing in line for
everything is one of the hallmarks of this trip. At lest they stand in
an orderly manner without attempting to jump queue all the time.
The shuttle journey drops us at the Grand Hyatt and we're in a long
queue to enter and deposit our bags at the concierge. Given the fact
that there are over 1000 guests, the line is long - uncomfortably so!
The party beings with some nice jazz music and we look around to see our
table partners - 3 aussies and a few germans. They have their own groups
- so not very friendly types. I trymy bit and making a conversation
happen. A few beers and wines down - the serving lady responds quite
enthusiastically to the 10 dirham note and an acknowledgement of her
name. The interesting part - the appetizers are paneer tikkas and
chicken tikkas - and the staff - call them by their real name - not an
anglicized "cottage cheese" version. The buffet is sumptuous - the fish
is like totally awesome. The only point of discussion - IS ANDREW
SYMONDS A MONKEY??
Time to stand in line for a taxi again. We head back - to the hotel where I prepare to go and paint the town red. I change into comfortable clothing, and decide to take a short nap - before going down to the afro night club in the hotel. The short nap extends for quite a few hours as
I wake up at a quarter past two. I had popped off in my keds and clothes as is. The spectacles would have been on too - if Jatin hadn't taken them off. So the first nights "beach party" came a cropper as it remained consigned to the dreamworld!!
I will make up for it on Day 3.